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Posted on June 27, 2013 by Sinita
About the blogger: Sinita Williams is a counselor in AFG’s Shelter department. She received her Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University. While completing her MSW program Sinita interned at AFG as the Curriculum Coordinator Intern. During her internship, she was hired as a Program Assistant/Residential Advisor in December 2011. After completing her MSW program she became the Interim Curriculum Coordinator. Now, she works as the Shelter and Transition to Independent Living Counselor.
The Shelter Department has just implemented a new program called adventure therapy into their Community Group. The term “adventure therapy” is a fairly new concept but has been proven effective when working with at-risk youth. Community Group is co-facilitated by me and Counseling Curriculum Coordinator Erika Fox. The group consist of experiential and activity building activities.
The two main activities consist of games that focus on healthy coping skills, teamwork, decision making, and communication skills. These activities force some participants out of their comfort zone and force other participants to recognize their leadership skills. During the main activities the facilitators observe the participants’ initiatives and only respond to the participants with thought-provoking questions. These questions force the participants to communicate and strategize effective ideas.
During the check-out activity the facilitators encourage the participants to sit in a circle and reflect on their experiences. During this time participants discuss the challenges and strengths that they encountered during the activities. The facilitators also have the participants connect lessons that they have learned to situations that they face in their daily lives. Erika and I are excited about the new format and have high hopes for the lasting impact that it will have on the shelter participants.